The secret to a good pho is really all in the broth, since that's where all the flavor comes from. The rest is really optional, so add in or take out just about whatever you'd like.
If you don't have a a few of the spices, not to worry, just add extra of the others, or add a bit of extra Chinese five-spice.
- To Make the Broth:
- 1 onion, chopped coarsely
- 2-3 star anise
- 2-3 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1-2 inches ginger, coarsely chopped
- 1 tsp. Chinese five-spice
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- Other Ingredients:
- 1-pound package rice noodles, prepared according to package instructions
- 1 pound mushrooms, sliced (try using dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated)
- 2 baby bok choy, coarsely chopped
- 6 scallions, chopped
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1/4 cup basil, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1-2 small chili peppers, sliced (optional)
- Optional: Lime wedges
Simmer the broth ingredients for 45 minutes to an hour, minimum. Strain the onion, anise, cloves, cinamon and ginger out of the broth, and return to a simmer.
Add the mushooms and bok choy and heat, just until vegetables are barely tender, about 2-3 minutes.
To serve, divide the perpared noodles between four serving bowls, and top with about a cup of broth with bok choy and mushrooms. Top off each individual bowl with scallions, bean sprouts, basil, cilantro and chilis.
Serve with a fresh lime wedge.